Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 53

Nantes - Main sights, Geography, Demographics, Famous people born in Nantes

france refining loire sugar

47°12N 1°33W, pop (2000e) 256 000. Manufacturing and commercial seaport, and capital of Loire-Atlantique department, W France; at head of Loire estuary, 171 km/106 mi W of Tours; seventh largest city in France; 16th–18th-c centre of sugar and ebony trade; France's leading port in 18th-c; 19th-c decline, halted by construction of harbour at St-Nazaire and river dredging; major bomb damage in World War 2; railway; university (1962); oil refining, sugar refining, boatbuilding, tobacco, soap, textiles, food products, building materials; birthplace of Jules Verne; Gothic Cathedral, museum of fine arts, Château des Ducs (10th-c, rebuilt 1466), where Edict of Nantes was signed.

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